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Official Review by Stephan Hoogerwaard, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Selhurst Park is a football stadium in the south of the British capital city of London, more exactly the stadium is situated in the London suburb of South Norwood (borough of Croyden). Selhurst Park is the home ground of Crystal Palace FC, nicknamed ‘the Eagles’. Selhurst Park is one of the 20 Premier League grounds and has a capacity of 26,309 seats.
The stadium was designed by famous Scottish stadium architect Archibald Leitch and it was opened on the 30th of August 1924 by the Lord Mayor of London (not to be confused with the mayor of London). That same year, the first game at this ground occurred, unfortunately Crystal Palace lost (0-1) in front of a crowd of 25,000. In 1953 the stadium's first floodlights were installed consisting of numerous poles around the ground. These were replaced in 1962 by real floodlights. Real Madrid marked the occasion by playing the first game under the new set of lights. At the time this was considered a real footballing coup for lower league Crystal Palace, as Real Madrid had never played a match in London before.
Nowadays the stadium has a double tiered stand behind the goal, called the Holmesdale Stand. This stands looks very impressive with a capacity of 8,147 (lower tier 5,341 and upper tier 2,806 seats), but is just the second largest inside Selhurst Park.
The Arthur Wait Stand (named after the former chairman of the Eagles) is the biggest stand with a capacity just under 10,000 seats, including 2,600 for away supporters. This old stand shows its age and still has wooden seats and roof-supporting pillars, which is very uncommon in the Premier League, but it certainly gives character to the ground.
The Main Stand has a capacity of 6,163. This stand was opened in 1924 and includes the Directors Box. The Whitehorse Lane Stand has a capacity of 2,245, and is the smallest stand at Selhurst Park with two tiers with 42 luxury Executive Boxes and a video screen (Jumbotron) on the roof.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The food and drinks inside the ground are priced at points which you may expect in a football stadium. You can order tea, coffee, various sodas, and beer. Beer will cost you Ł3.60 for a plastic bottle of Carling. Strangely this brand is the only option available. We had tickets for the Arthur Wait stand, which is an old stand, so there are few selling points which lead to queues.
We visited the match against Norwich City FC and the atmosphere during our match was very vocal. Just what you can expect when two teams fighting for relegation meet each other. Maybe we were lucky to have seats next to the away section. I think that some 2,500 Canaries (nickname for Norwich City fans) made the trip from Anglia to South London. Though Selhurst Park is a very old ground, it is still capable of producing a good atmosphere as both supporter groups make a lot of noise during the match.
Selhurst Park is situated in the heart of the borough of Croydon and has mostly houses around its perimeter. In this area pubs are rare. For a good PMDS (Pre Match drinking Session) you definitely need to go to Selhurst Road. There are many restaurants and pubs. The White Horse and the Selhurst Arms are pubs that are especially for the more fanatic home supporters, though more neutral visitors are welcomed with an open heart. Both pubs are located close to each other at a 15 minutes walking distance from the football ground.
When you have 26,000 supporters packed into the stadium the atmosphere is good. Most of the 2,500 Norwich fans who visited this away match of their team were dressed in their yellow and green club colours. Home supporters are dressed in their red and blue shirts, but not so dominantly as the away support. Before and after the match you'll notice the friendly atmosphere as home and away fans mingle outside the ground.
Most streets around the ground are designated as residents only parking on matchdays, so the best place to park the car in the Edith Road area is close to the Selhurst train station. This area is also where the away fans are advised to park their cars. From Dover we drove over the M20 towards the London Ringroad (M25 south bound). At exit 7 we took the M23 onto the A23 (London Road North) and followed it for some 11 kilometres. From there the Selhurst Park stadium is well signposted, but we used our navigation set to direct us to Edith Road. From there it was a 5 minute walk to the pubs mentioned before.
We ordered our tickets on-line and these were held for collection at the ticketoffice on the day of the match. We bought 4 tickets for the Arthur Wait Stand at a price of GBP 32- per ticket. The Norwich City match was a category B-match, so keep in mind that ticket prices may vary depending on the visiting team. For our match we could have also bought tickets for the Whitehorse Lane Stand at GBP 25, and Main Stand ticket for GBP 35. We saw a very good match and experienced a great atmosphere so we had an excellent time at Selhurst Park.
The Crystal Palace club shop is located on Whitehorse Lane and is open on matchdays (before and after the match).
We enjoyed our trip to Selhurst Park. When you are staying in London for a city trip and you want to experience Premier League football in an old ground, this is it.
Member Review by sportsroadtrips on Oct 07, 2015
Great fans made this a winning experience. English football stadiums restrict access to your stand, so I couldn't tour, but enjoyed the pie, the season ticket holders around me, and a Palace victory.
1 Selhurst Rd
London, England SE25 5PP
020 8684 4498
38 Selhurst Rd
London, England SE25 5QF
+44 20 8684 2084
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